Hello dear friend.
As we approach another holiday season, I’m praying for you to have your best Christmas ever. But in order for that to happen, perhaps you will need to do a personal “reality check.”
The picture of Christmas often painted for us on TV and greeting cards is of happy families exchanging gifts, gathering around bountiful tables of food, and joyfully singing carols together by the Christmas tree.
But let’s be honest. I don’t know about your family, but Christmas at our house hasn’t always been like the front of a Hallmark greeting card.
So when you hear “Joy to the World” sung in church services or shopping malls this Christmas season, how should you react? I hope you’ll remember an important truth: God not only wants to bring His joy and peace to the world – He wants to bring them to YOUR world. No matter what you may be going through, He wants you to know He is Immanuel, the God who will be with you through it all.
Where is Jesus in the midst of all this? No wonder such thinking saps us of our joy.
When our Heavenly Father sent His Son into the world to be born in that humble Bethlehem stable, I don’t believe He intended for us to experience overwhelming stress, unrealistic expectations, and false guilt…do you?
Remember: On the first Christmas, the angelic choir praised God and sang about “peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:13-14 NIV). That is the Lord’s will for YOU, dear friend: to experience His supernatural peace and joy this Christmas, even amid any difficult circumstances you may be facing.
JOY IN GOD’S PRESENCE
So perhaps you don’t have any “warm and fuzzy” feelings associated with Christmas. Maybe you didn’t have loving parents. Or maybe you’ve recently gone through a heart-wrenching divorce or have lost a loved one. Perhaps you’re so sick or stressed by financial pressures that you wish Christmas would just go away.
Yet God knows your deepest feelings, fears, and frustrations. He’s truly the only One who can heal your pain, and He’s beckoning you into His presence today. Your Heavenly Father is whispering, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Take time to tell Him exactly how you’re feeling. Share everything with Him. Yes, get it all out. If you’re mad, go ahead and tell Him why. If you feel like crying, go ahead and cry. And don’t forget to seek His forgiveness if you need it, or to forgive others who may have wronged you.
As you sit in the Lord’s presence, let the warmth of His love saturate your entire being. Ask Him to wrap His loving arms around you and fill you with His love, mercy, and comfort. This is what He wants to do, because He cares about every detail of your life.
Let’s you and I agree to bring glory to Jesus all through this holiday season, experiencing the wonderful reality of a Christ-filled, joy-filled Christmas. Despite the busyness of the season, let’s not let a day go by without stopping to bask in His presence – the place where we can always find “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
Your friend on the journey,
Barbara Cerullo is devoted to authentically sharing God’s love with women. She authors From Barbara’s Heart, where her spiritual insights, heartwarming family stories, and delightful anecdotes encourage readers with God’s faithfulness. Her husband, David, is CEO of Inspiration Ministries.
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